(Sofia Costa/Unsplash)

This should be tapped in staccato like a telegram,
on an obsolete Underwood condemned to a grated

pawnshop window, for disseminating what was banned,
striking a ribbon spooled from dark nylons thunder wore

when it shocked lilacs into bloom. Afterward, the lawn
was pasted with confetti as if a parade had passed.  

Before a blue Madonna, a baptismal birdbath crested
in a lilac foam. A mourning cloak, free at last from

its cocoon, outfluttered the sheer curtains in a room
where a bed table had arranged fruits, handblown

in Prague, around a stolen hotel Bible. A peeling gate,
swollen as if slammed shut long ago, needed kicking open,

and when they ducked through the overgrown arbor,
wet blossoms showered down a private storm.

Stuart Dybek’s most recent book of poems is Streets in Their Own Ink (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He’s also the author of six books of fiction, including Paper Lantern: Love Stories.

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Published in the May 2023 issue: View Contents
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